The Sponsor Management System (SMS) is used by UK companies to monitor their foreign employees. The day-to-day operation of the SMS is one of many important sponsorship duties that come with employing workers from overseas. If you are looking to be a Sponsor License holder, you will need to understand how to use the Sponsor Management System.

Failure to operate the SMS could result in suspension or even revocation.

How can IAS help?

Below, you will find an introductory guide to the Sponsor Management System. This includes daily responsibilities and the roles you will need to fill to follow Home Office expectations.

SMS Guide

SMS users

There are three main roles related to the Sponsorship Management System.

These are:

  • Authorizing Officer. This is a senior staff member who is responsible for all staff who use the system.
  • Level 1 User. This is the employee responsible for running the system daily. They will be able to assign Certificates of Sponsorship to new employees. They can also use the SMS to apply for new certificates.
  • Key Contact. This person is the main point of contact between UKVI and your business. This role can be outsourced.

All three roles can be taken by the same person or shared between up to three individual employees. This will be at your discretion and will depend on the size of your business.

You may also choose to employ a Level 2 User. This person can view records and check the status of Certificates but cannot make changes or make new applications.

Members of staff in these roles cannot:

  • Be on a temporary contract;
  • Be subject to a bankruptcy restriction order;
  • Have unspent convictions relating to immigration offenses;
  • Have been issued a Sponsor License revocation in the last year;
  • Be known to the Home Office for non-compliance;
  • Be based outside of the UK.

What you can do on the Sponsor Management System

The Sponsorship Management System should be used to keep a record of all migrant employees throughout their time at your company. This will include keeping up to date with their immigration status and reporting any unlicensed absences. You will also need to use the system if they are not complying with their visa or if their position at the company changes, e.g. if they are promoted.

The Sponsor Management System will also be used to renew your Sponsor License and apply for new Certificates of Sponsorship.

When applying to renew your Sponsor License, you will need to have all the correct documents from your time as a sponsor. This is to confirm that you are keeping accurate records.

If your application is rejected, there is no limit to the number of times you can apply but each new application costs. Once your current license expires, you will no longer be able to renew and you will have to make a new application.

Issues with your SMS

If there are issues with your management of the SMS, or the Home Office feels that your HR duties are not sufficient, you must work with your staff to resolve this.

This could involve:

  • Ensuring your records have been correctly kept and are updated regularly;
  • Checking your CoS for discrepancies with the certificate and the employee’s actual job; and
  • Ensuring that the data on the Sponsor Management System is accurate and updating it if necessary.

What services does IAS offer?

Our lawyers are highly experienced in all fields of UK business immigration. If you are looking to sponsor overseas workers at your UK company, we can help you to obtain your Sponsor Licence and ensure you keep it.

Our Sponsor Licence application package includes:

  • Meeting with you at a time based around your schedule, accommodating conference calls if necessary;
  • Completing a full document check to ensure you have the correct evidence;
  • Drafting your application forms in full before they are submitted;
  • Reviewing your HR practices to confirm that your business is running effectively;
  • Advising you on the Sponsor Management System so that your staff are fully prepared;
  • Maintaining contact with the Home Office until a decision is made.

We also offer a number of services for British companies to maintain their Sponsor Licences, such as Immigration Consultancy, Immigration Audits and Immigration Compliance training. For more information or to discuss your company’s situation further, call now on +1844 290 6312 or make an inquiry online.

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